Tickets to sporting events are expensive and fans want to make sure they are getting their full value. Of course, there are players who are worth the price of admission but is that enough?
If fans are shelling out top dollar, they want to get a closer look at those athletes who are truly transcendent. And while there aren’t many of them, they are very much out there. Below is a list of those athletes who are authentically must-see.
Mike Trout isn’t just a good player, he’s a historically good player. There are very few centerfielders who have combined power, hitting, fielding and running in quite the way this Angel has and he recently took home his 3rd MVP Award.
But despite playing in a major market, Trout somewhat toils in anonymity. While the superstar has continually put up incredible seasons, he’s never played in a playoff game. The upside is, tickets shouldn’t be hard to come by when the Angels come to your town.
Lamar Jackson was clearly an electric player at Louisville and took home the Heisman Trophy in 2016. NFL General Managers, though, weren’t quite sure how his skill set would play in the NFL and the Ravens landed him with the last pick in 2018’s First Round.
Baltimore has been handily rewarded. While the team gets credit for building around his skill-set, Jackson has been a revelation. With his incredible speed, smart decision making, and accurate arm, he has become a must-see player.
Tennis is a young person’s game. Superstars begin their careers in their teens and many are retired by the time they turn 30. Someone forgot to give Serena Williams that memo though.
Williams has continued to dominate that sport well into her 30s, and, following the birth of her child. Now, at 38, she is still a force to be reckoned with. It is unknown how long she’ll continue playing though, so now is the time to get tickets to see her play.
Many of today’s basketball fans were too young to catch Michael Jordan when he was at the top of his game. While Kobe Bryant was a fine player, the true successor to Air Jordan has been LeBron James.
Amazingly this is the 34-year-old’s 16th season in the league and he has made the NBA All-Star team 15 times. It’s not always easy to snag tickets when the Lakers come to your town, but for James, it may be worth it.
Casual NHL fans might think the player they need to go see might be Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin. And both of those guys are amazing. But the current must-see hockey player is Connor McDavid.
Playing for the legendary Edmonton Oilers, McDavid blends incredible speed with skills that match any other player in the league. He’s also just beginning his career. The 22-year-old already has three 100 point seasons under his belt and his NHL dominance is just beginning.
Unlike most other sports, golf offers a lot longer window for fans to see their favorite athlete in person. At this same time, though, you want to see them when they’re still at the top of their game.
Many fans thought they may never see Tiger Woods at his best again. But following years of injuries and rehab, Woods has roared back to again become a superstar. It’s time to head out to your closest golf venue and see the 2019 Masters Champion in action.
The United States has the best women’s soccer team in the world. And the future of that team is Rose Lavelle. The best current player on the team in 34-year-old Megan Rapinoe, but Lavelle isn’t that far behind.
Rapinoe will soon turn that honor over to Lavelle, though, who captured the tournament’s Bronze Ball as the third-best player. You can currently the 24-year-old playing for the Washington Spirit of the NWSL.
If you want to see Shohei Ohtani play, you’ll have to fight through a crowd. The international star who was born in the Iwate Prefecture of Japan is normally followed around by a contingent of Japanese media and fans.
And there may not be another player like him in the world. He hasn’t pitched in a year due to surgery, but when he did, he looked like one of the better starters in the league. And that bat plays too, in 106 2019 games, Ohtani put up an .848 OPS with 18 homers, 62 RBI and 12 steals.
Seriously, the guy is nicknamed the Greek Freak. It took Giannis Antetokounmpo a few years to establish himself in the NBA, but once he did, it quickly became clear that there wasn’t anyone else quite like him.
Antetokounmpo can defend any position on the floor from point guard to center. He can shoot, pass and defend like an absolute demon. And then there’s also the matter of him being able to travel half the court in like 3 steps. Go see this guy play.
The key to winning in the NFL is having a very good quarterback. A secondary key to winning in the NFL is having players that can stop very good QBs. And no one stops quarterbacks better than JJ Watt.
Since he entered the league in 2010, the Houston Texans superstar has been terrorizing opposing teams. He is also dedicated to making the world better through charity. Unfortunately, injuries have taken their toll on Watt so those wanting to see him play should do so soon.
There have been plenty of NASCAR drivers who excel at the sport but have extremely vanilla personalities. Two easy examples of this are Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. A great driver with an ego to match is hard to come by, but Brad Keselowski fits the bill.
The Michigan born racer is loaded with personality and his Twitter feed is frequently mentioned as a must follow. He can also win races, as Keselowski took home the 2012 Cup Championship.
If you pay attention to distance running at all, you know the name Mary Keitany. The Kenyan runner has dominated the sport winning the New York Marathon four times and the London Marathon three times.
Keitany also holds numerous records and ran the fastest time ever in an all-woman marathon. Though it seems like the 37-year-old is still in her prime, it is anyone’s guess how long she can keep running like this. If she’s in your area, Keitany is definitely a must-see.
Are you familiar with the internet trolls that infiltrate Twitter and Facebook? Well, Brad Marchand is the hockey version of that. And while he is the ultimate pest, he is also an incredibly skilled player who notched a 100 point season last year.
From cross-checks to low bridges and deliberate elbows, Marchand is willing to do anything to help his Boston Bruins win. It’s always worth going to a game where the left wing is playing because legitimately anything can happen.
When their Premier League careers come to an end, many international soccer stars make the decision to come over to the US. This gives American Fans a special opportunity to check out players who they otherwise wouldn’t get to see.
This recently happened with superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swiss striker joined the Los Angeles Galaxy during the 2018 season. He has scored an astonishing 52 goals in only 56 games. Now is the time to get a first-hand look at him.
For the last decade or so, America has not produced exciting heavyweight boxers. That fact, however, doesn’t mean that there aren’t extremely skilled and exciting pugilists in the lower weight classes. And the best American fighter today is Terence Crawford.
The welterweight fighter has had to jump up and down classes to find opponents who could stay in the ring with him. It hasn’t really worked as Crawford now stands at 35-0. He is known for his incredible speed and ability to “switch-hit” in the ring.
Saquon Barkley is the most electric running back to enter the league in years. And he plays for the New York Giants, a popular team in the biggest market in the country.
Unfortunately for the halfback, the Giants are on a downswing at this point. Barkley has to struggle for every yard he gets although he often turns a short run into something spectacular. And at only 22-years-old, Saquon should be thrilling crowds for years to come.
Starting pitchers who can go out there and throw seven innings of three-run ball are nice. But shutdown relievers that can come in and end pretty much any rally, those are a bit rarer.
Milwaukee’s Josh Hader does that with flair and panache. The long-haired lefty blows away hitters with his electric stuff. And the Brewers don’t worry about getting him saves, he does the job whenever the opposition’s rally needs to be shut down.
If you were to build the perfect golfer in a laboratory, it would probably come out looking something like Dustin Johnson. The 6-4 duffer combines size, athleticism, and power in a way no other player ever has.
As a result, Johnson is a threat to win any tournament he enters. He has won one major, the 2016 US Open, and finished in second place in the three others. He is 35-years-old, so golf fans should have plenty of opportunities to see him play.
Elena Delle Donne
It seems like Elena Delle Donne has always been in the basketball spotlight. And the prodigy has always done things her own way. One of the biggest recruits in basketball history, she chose to attend the University of Delaware so she could stay close to her disabled sister.
Delle Donne has made quite a mark for herself in the WNBA as well. She took home the leagues MVP Award twice, in 2015 and 2019. Her 2019 season ended up being a remarkable year for the small forward who also won the league championship.
It can be tough sledding for West Coast based players who don’t call Los Angeles home. By the time they play their games, a fair amount of the country is asleep. But during the 2019 Playoffs, Damian Lillard made them take notice.
The wildly talented point guard and his Portland Trailblazers gave the dynastic Golden State Warriors everything they coiuld handle. Rather than leaving for a bigger market, he signed an extension with the Blazers in May. He is 100% worth staying up late for.